English woman who ‘woke up with Welsh accent’ forced to quit Wetherspoons job

An English woman who woke up one morning with a Welsh accent has told how she had to give her up her job pulling pints at a local Wetherspoon pub.

Zoe Coles, from Lincolnshire, is hoping to receive medical help for her sudden accent change, which has morphed her voice from English to German and now into Welsh, and was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder in 2022.

She now believes she has Foreign Accent Syndrome too – which has seen her give up her job at Wetherspoon.

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Zoe, who is mum to Zak, 16, and Brooke, 11, said: “I didn't want to go in with my new accent because the regulars would be saying I'm having them on.

“And when people would get drunk, I knew I would be a target.

“I tried to drive to work one day and I just had a massive anxiety attack and I just couldn't go in.

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“I thought it was best to leave and then I can always go back when I'm ready.”

Dozens of FAS cases can be associated with neurological problems, and Ms Coles says she also suffers from chronic pain, speech problems and loss of motor control.

The Daily Star previously reported how she is now seeking out a neurologist for medical help after Zoe failed to receive a referral for a specialist at St George's University Hospital.

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She said: "There are many FND sufferers but this accent syndrome… something has obviously gone wrong up in my brain, like something's obviously not right, because who on earth wakes up speaking a totally different accent?

"So I would like to work with somebody [who] can help me and then we can help others."

Even though her accent is manageable and Zoe is looking for help in returning to her original, English dialect, it has made for some "awkward" interactions with people around her.

If all else fails, she could always go and work at a Wetherspoon in Wales . . .

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